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Commentary: Pro-life march breeds community

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Marisa Saldaña
Staff Writer

The current political climate on college campuses makes it hard for those of us with conservative views on abortion. Those who are pro-life, or anti-abortion, like me are often seen as rigid, unethical and insensitive toward the rights of women. However, events like the eighth annual Walk for Life earlier this month helped to bridge the divide between those for and against abortion rights by putting together a peaceful protest in downtown Pomona.

The walk, which I joined, went from Purpose Church on Main Street to Planned Parenthood on Garey Avenue. Walkers held signs that read “Moms for Life” and “Love Lets Live.”

More than 50 million fetuses have been aborted since 1973, according to surveys conducted by the Center for Disease Control and the Guttmacher Institute.

Among the 75 participants were members of Choices Women’s Resource Center, a crisis pregnancy center in Pomona that offers counseling to women in need but does not perform abortions. Choices helped sponsor the event. The Knights of Columbus, a catholic organization, also showed its support.

Pastor Joseph Signore of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Pomona participated in the walk.

“I feel compelled to take a stand as a pastor in Pomona in order to connect with the local pregnancy centers that affirm life,” he said.

Like Choices, there are many other organizations that offer pregnancy counseling service, excluding abortion counseling, such as Bethany Christian Services and Women’s Care Services, both located in the city of Chino.

Although Planned Parenthood offers services for women beside abortion, in 2011, of the services provided, over 30 percent were abortions, according to the organization’s 2011-2012 annual report.

“As a physician I don’t think you can deny the fact that life begins at conception and that intentionally ending that life is wrong,” said Bruce Corigliano, a local physician of 39 years, who joined the march.

Corigliano said he had a few life experiences that changed his views on abortion, one of which was the birth of his daughter.

It was nice to see supporters for the cause of all ages, including Bishop Amat High School junior Dana George, who said that as president of her school’s Culture of Life club, she supports the cause.

“Life starts at conception and ends at natural death, and it’s important that we as a society recognize that and realize that life needs to be protected from its beginning to its end,” George said.

George added that disdain for the march was visible as one woman flipped them off from the inside of her car and another yelled “Shame on you” while driving by.

A Planned Parenthood employee came out to tell protesters they were not allowed to lean or sit on the brick wall surrounding the property, since it was private property.

One marcher addressed the crowd: “We may not agree with them, but we will respect their property.”

Just because an issue is common does not mean that it should be. Poverty, racism and murder are unfortunately common too, but just because they exist does not mean we should stop working towards fixing them.

As far as I’m concerned, the existence of a life is not a choice, but simply something that is meant to be. When society dehumanizes the life being aborted by using medical terms such as embryo or fetus, we are separating the person from the action and making it easier to accept abortion as the primary way to deal with an unwanted pregnancy.

“I think it was a powerful witness to the people passing by and a very peaceful protest, and a good reminder that we are not alone,” Signore said.

The donations from the march go to Choices Women’s Resource Center. For more information, visit choicescenter.org.

Marisa Saldaña, a sophomore journalism major, is a staff writer for the Campus Times. She can be reached by email at marisa.saldana@laverne.edu.

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